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There and Back Again: The Study of Mental Disorder and Terrorist Involvement

Gill, P; Corner, E; (2017) There and Back Again: The Study of Mental Disorder and Terrorist Involvement. American Psychologist , 72 (3) pp. 231-241. 10.1037/amp0000090. Green open access

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Abstract

For the past forty years, researchers studied the relationship between mental disorder and terrorist involvement. The literature developed in four paradigms, each of which differs in terms of their empirical evidence, the specific mental disorders studied, and their conceptualizations of terrorist involvement. These paradigms have not, however, witnessed linear and incremental improvements upon one another. Although one paradigm has generally tended to dominate a temporal period, many false assumptions and incorrect interpretations of earlier work permeate into today’s discourse. This paper provides a history of the study of mental disorders and the terrorist. First, we briefly outline the core fundamental principles of the first two paradigms, The paper then outlines the core arguments produced by the seminal reviews conducted in paradigm three. We highlight how these findings were consistently misinterpreted in subsequent citations. We then highlight recent innovations in the study of terrorism and mental disorder since the various influential literature reviews of 1997-2005. We conclude by outlining how future research in this area may improve in the coming years by broadening our understanding of both terrorist involvement and psychopathology away from simple dichotomous thinking.

Type: Article
Title: There and Back Again: The Study of Mental Disorder and Terrorist Involvement
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1037/amp0000090
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/amp0000090
Language: English
Additional information: © 2016 American Psychological Association. This article may not exactly replicate the authoritative document published in the APA journal. It is not the copy of record.
Keywords: Terrorism, terrorist involvement, mental disorders
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Security and Crime Science
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1521071
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